- How I was welcomed to the network had a huge impact. Aaron Strout (@AaronStrout) was the person that finally convinced me to join after a few months of hearing less than interesting uses for it ("my mother loves it" etc.). Aaron is a great host and once he convinced me to join, he took it upon himself to make sure I was introduced around. This was critical to finding some immediate value and feeling positive about the experience.
- Getting the attention of influencers through content they found interesting is important. Chris Brogan (@chrisbrogan) was generous in promoting my work and that gave me early exposure to an audience I never would have had otherwise.
- I knew quite a few people that were social thought leaders but until I saw them all chatting with each other, I did not know that they all knew each other. Knowing that made me appreciate just how influential they each were and it was a good way to assess others' influence.
- When watching the network of influential people on Twitter, I could easily spot others that I didn't know that were also in the sub-network (back when Twitter allowed you to see who your friends were chatting with). I 'met' a large number of people this way, all of whom were important to understanding what was happening in the market.
- Knowing most of the thought leaders in the market completely changed the conference experience. At Enterprise 2.0 in the spring of 2008, I met a ton of Twitter connections in person. Instead of standing around at a big industry event looking for people to chat with or walking up blindly to individuals and chatting only to find we had nothing in common, it felt more like a college reunion. This picture of me, Chris Brogon, Loren Feldman, Laura Fitton, and Dennis Howlett taken by Stephen Collins still makes me smile. It was my first time meeting Dennis, Loren, & Stephen and we immediately connected. That conference experience blew my mind because it was such a change from a decade of conference going experience.
- Live tweeting events created much more value around conference content by extending its reach to more people and experiences. I got more out of conferences but I also met many new people because of my (and their) live tweeting.
- Welcome and make connections for others
- Encourage people to comment on other blogs and blog themselves
- Encourage people to share some of their personal lives in social environments because it makes it much easier for others to engage in conversation, which is a critical first step to having more substantive conversations
- Point out online conversations that I know are interesting to the individual
- Do simple searches on social networks (LinkedIn, Slideshare, Twitter, etc) for topics of interest to the individual and show them how easy it is to find and connect with others who share their interests.
- Show people examples of how others are doing something small well (i.e. x person tweets really well, watch them)
How do you help others get to Aha moments?
[This is cross-posted at The Community Roundtable blog]